Thompsons Survivor Team – Core Vision
“Financial justice is about more than fighting to win the maximum compensation survivors deserve. It’s also about forcing the abusers who destroyed lives, and institutions who abandoned vulnerable children, to face up to the damage they caused. It’s about an acknowledgement. It’s about recognition. It’s about justice.”
Patrick McGuire, BBC Radio Scotland
The Thompsons Survivors Team is dedicated to helping you seek justice through the civil courts if you have suffered abuse, whether that's physical, mental, sexual abuse or neglect. Every member of the team is specially trained and we use a trauma-informed approach to communicate and support you.
The team is highly experienced and has represented claimants seeking justice against religious organisations, sports clubs, schools, children's homes, membership organisations, local authorities and individuals.
Contacting a solicitor to start a civil claim for abuse may be a very difficult step for you and we would like to reassure you that your claim, your privacy and, above all, your well-being is of paramount importance to us. If you decide to go ahead with a claim, and you will be under no-obligation to do so, our approach puts you at the centre of your case and we will only ever proceed if you are entirely happy.
The Survivors Team
Laura Connor – Partner and Head of the Survivors Team
I have the privilege of leading the Thompsons' Survivors Team in our work with survivors of historic abuse. My clients come from a variety of backgrounds and are survivors of abuse experienced in state care, private care, sports clubs and religious groups, to name just a few. Many have also suffered abuse in their own homes. The abuse varies in each case from physical, sexual to psychological abuse and neglect.
I have many years of experience in pursuing civil claims through our Scottish courts and CICA tribunals and am an Accredited Personal Injury Specialist Lawyer by the Law of Society of Scotland. I am now able to use my knowledge of the law and our legal system, coupled with my legal knowledge and litigation skills, to help survivors secure justice and support them in having their voices heard.
Along with my colleagues in the team, I have received specialist training to allow me to assist survivors in a trauma-informed way, an approach which is not widely familiar to lawyers. I work collaboratively with clients and provide trauma-informed approaches to the pursuance of civil claims.
Our team also works alongside Wellbeing Scotland to offer counselling support to any clients who wish to benefit from this.
Survivors’ claims for compensation will normally be dealt with through our civil court justice system or an application for compensation to the CICA (Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority).
I am a notary public and member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).
Patrick McGuire – Partner & Solicitor Advocate
As Scotland's leading historic abuse solicitor, I am passionate about my role in the fight for survivor justice. I believe that survivors have been made to stay quiet for too long and now the law has changed survivors finally have a voice that cannot be ignored.
I believe, as a team of solicitors, we are here to provide a service which goes beyond financial redress – our role is to provide trauma support, to give power and to bring the survivors' messages to the fore.
As a country, Scotland must recognise the damage that was done and the abusers must be brought to account. We aim to provide action, recognition and acknowledgement for survivors who have been failed by the very people who were responsible for their care.
Hear Patrick speaking to Good Morning Scotland regarding Thompsons legal action against Celtic Football Club.
Lindsay Bruce – Partner
I am a successful and experienced mass litigator, voted Solicitor of the Year in 2017.
Working closely with Scotland's leading abuse charity, Wellbeing Scotland, I work to provide support, recognition and, ultimately, justice for Thompsons' clients whose experiences have left them suffering years of unspoken trauma.
Having commenced work on historic abuse cases in 2016, I have since completed the COSCA Certificate in Counselling and understand fully that making a claim is a stressful process for survivors. However, I urge survivors to come forward and speak to Thompsons, so that we can help provide the support, acknowledgement and action they deserve.
My Survivors Team colleagues and I have been trauma-trained to provide a type of legal service that few other law firms can. We understand that survivors have gone through unimaginable trauma and their lives have been marked for their entirety – seeking compensation is their right; to help them rebuild their lives and gain access to all the necessary support they need.
Shona Cocksedge - Solicitor
In October 2017 the Limitation (Child Abuse) (Scotland) Act 2017 came into force, allowing survivors of historic abuse to raise civil compensation claims. I joined the Survivors Team shortly after the law changed and have spent the past year meeting survivors and advancing claims on their behalf.
Having, previously held quite varied caseloads within Thompsons, where I completed my traineeship, I came to the team with both pre-litigation and litigation experience. I have since built on that experience and worked closely with my colleagues ever since to create a team we are all immensely proud of. The right of those affected by trauma and abuse to obtain access to justice is something I am passionate about and I look forward to continuing to act for my clients in seeking redress from those responsible.
Daniel Canning – Trainee Solicitor
I’ve been a part of the Survivors Team at Thompsons since the summer of 2017.
Having previously worked within the Mass Litigation Team at Thompsons, I gained my experience working with individuals who had experienced traumatic life events and offered a service in obtaining acknowledgement, assistance and legal recourse whenever possible.
When the Limitation (Child Abuse) (Scotland) Act 2017 was passed, lifting the time bar on historic abuse civil cases, I saw this as an opportunity to use my knowledge and experience in helping survivors who had been through a traumatic childhood. I then transferred to the Survivors Team permanently in November 2017 and haven’t looked back.
Since beginning my work with the Survivors Team, I have had the opportunity to meet some truly fantastic and courageous survivors from all walks of life, as well as working with organisations who are passionate, dedicated and expert in their fields. I continue to work with survivors on a daily basis, learning from them, and their experiences, so that I can help others who are on the journey to seek justice and redress.
I’m also proud to be part of the Take Justice campaign that gives survivors a platform to come forward and make their voices heard in seeking justice and redress.
Emma Wheelhouse – Trainee Solicitor
After working in a number of litigation firms, I joined Thompsons in January 2018 as part of the Mass Litigation team. I commenced my traineeship within the Survivors Team in August 2018.
I work as a part of a close-knit team which works exclusively on survivor cases dedicated to obtaining justice for our clients. We are pursuing cases from a wide variety of institutions across Scotland.
As a team, we work with Wellbeing Scotland, a counselling service that specialises in supporting survivors of historic abuse. Through working with Wellbeing Scotland, we are able to go one step further in ensuring that our clients are treated with care and compassion.
As part of the Take Justice campaign, I attend campaigning events to continue to raise awareness of historic child abuse and to encourage more survivors to come forward.
I am passionate and committed to ensuring that the needs of our clients are always met. I look forward to continuing to pursue justice for those that have been affected by childhood abuse.’
Talk to Thompsons, today
The Thompsons Survivors Team works closely with campaign groups and support charities to provide a holistic service to our clients. We are committed, dedicated and passionate about ensuring anyone who has been abused is able to receive the help and support, and ultimately the justice, they need.
From start to finish, we will put you at the centre of your compensation claim and we will always move forward at the pace which suits you. You can find out more about how we will work with you in your claim on our historic abuse claims process page.
You can talk to a member of the Thompsons team by calling 0800 0891 331 or texting CLAIM to 60155. Alternatively, you could fill in a contact form so that we can call you back at a time to suit you – click on the 'Contact us' button below.